Heavenly Father, as we study Mark, may the Holy Spirit convict us, correct us, instruct us, inspire us, encourage us and motivate us. We pray for the Spirit of Truth to bring us closer to You, in Jesus’s name , Amen
Mark 2: 15- 28
VV 15-18, 15 Now it happened, as He was dining in Levi’s house, that many tax collectors and sinners also sat together with Jesus and His disciples; for there were many, and they followed Him. 16 And when the scribes and Pharisees saw Him eating with the tax collectors and sinners, they said to His disciples, “How is it that He eats and drinks with tax collectors and sinners?”17 When Jesus heard it, He said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.”
Levi was also known as Matthew. Levi was his Hebrew name and Matthew was his Greek name. Matthewmeans ‘’gift of Yahweh’’. He was a Jew from the tribe of Levi, the tribe of the priests. He was initially a religious person but had become a tax collector. In those days, tax collectors were considered sinners and traitors who were despised, hated and barred from attending synagogue services. When Jesus called him, he left the tax collecting business and followed Jesus and became one of His disciples. Matthew invited Jesus and other tax collectors to his house for a meal. The Jews accused Jesus of eating and drinking with sinners. Going to Jesus for forgiveness of sin is similar going to a doctor for treatment. When a patient go to a doctor, he had to admit that he is sick. When a person go to Jesus, he had to admit that he is a sinner. Those who are not sick do not need to see a doctor. Jesus came to call sinners to repentance. He came to heal the spiritually sick.
VV 18-20, The disciples of John and of the Pharisees were fasting. Then they came and said to Him, “Why do the disciples of John and of the Pharisees fast, but Your disciples do not fast?”19 And Jesus said to them, “Can the friends of the bridegroom fast while the bridegroom is with them? As long as they have the bridegroom with them they cannot fast. 20 But the days will come when the bridegroomwill be taken away fromthem, and then they will fast in those days.
When the Jews asked Jesus why His disciples did not fast, He replied that it was because they were rejoicing in His presence. This was a time for celebration, and not mourning. He gave the analogy of a wedding. When the bridegroom is present, the guest had to celebrate. However, Jesus said that His disciples would fast after His death and burial, speaking of His crucifixion.
VV 21- 22, No one sews a piece of unshrunk cloth on an old garment; or else the new piece pulls away from the old, and the tear is made worse. 22 And no one puts new wine into old wineskins; or else the new wine bursts the wineskins, the wine is spilled, and the wineskins are ruined. But new wine must be put into new wineskins.”
Analogy from domestic. Sewing cloth on an old old garment. New cloth will shrink when washed. If there is a tear on a old clothing, do not patch it up with a new piece of cloth because it will shrink when washed. Putting new wine into old wine skins. In those days wine is stored in container made from animal skin. New skin is able to stretch when the new wine ferments. Do not put new wine into old wine skin because old wine skin cannot stretch and will burst when the new wine ferments. Do not pour the new wine of the New covenant into the old wine of Rabbinic Judaism. The new wine of Christianity is not compatible with the old wine of Rabbinic Judaism.
VV 23-26, Now it happened that He went through the grainfields on the Sabbath; and as they went His disciples began to pluck the heads of grain. 24 And the Pharisees said to Him, “Look, why do they do what is not lawful on the Sabbath?” 25 But He said to them, “Have you never read what David did when he was in need and hungry, he and those with him: 26 how he went into the house of God in the days of Abiathar the high priest, and ate the showbread, which is not lawful to eat except for the priests, and also gave some to those who were with him?”
According to oral traditions of the Pharisees, reaping, threshing, winnowing and preparing a meal was forbidden on a Sabbath. According to their interpretation, the disciples had broken all of these. When they plucked the wheat they had reaped. When they rubbed the wheat between their hands they had threshed. When they blow the chaff away they had winnowed. When they eat the grains they had prepared a meal. Jesus replied, ‘’Have you never read?’’ Leaders need to read and know the word of God. Even David was forced to eat consecrated bread to satisfy his hunger when he was running away from King Saul, 1 Sam21: 1-6.
VV 27-28, And He said to them, “The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath. 28 Therefore the Son of Man is also Lord of the Sabbath.”
Jesus, the Son of Man, fully God and fully Man, is Lord over the Sabbath. The oral traditions of the Jews concerning the Sabbath, cannot be applied to Jesus because He is God. Jesus created the Sabbath for the benefit of men and not the other way round. As far as Jesus was concerned regarding Sabbath observance, compassion superseded custom and healing superseded ritual.
Heavenly Father, thank You for taking away the garment of mourning and giving us the garment of praise. Thank You for giving us the oil of joy and gladness. We are saddened by events that are happening in our lives and in the world. You know how we feel in time of our need. We come before Your throne room of grace in boldness and confidence and pray that You lift up our spirits today, In Jesus’ name, Amen